November 28, 2012
The Bryan-College Station community will get a rare opportunity to see the appellate court in action on Dec. 5 when the Texas 10th Court of Appeals holds session on Blinn College’s Bryan campus.
The first of four arguments will be heard at 10 a.m., with subsequent arguments scheduled for 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. in the Barbara Pearson Banquet Room inside the Student Center. Each of the four cases is expected to take between 40 and 50 minutes, and the public is welcome to attend any individual argument or the entire session. After the 11 a.m. case is argued, there will be a brief time for questions from the public. No video or audio recordings or photographs will be allowed in the courtroom while court is in session.
“Because the purpose of holding oral arguments out in the district rather than only back in our court room in Waco is to educate the public about what we do, we want to make it as easy and accessible for the public as possible,” Chief Justice Tom Gray said.
The Texas 10th Court of Appeals, which consists of Gray and Justices Rex Davis and Al Scoggins, is based in Waco and hears civil and criminal appeals from 18 counties, in Central Texas, including Brazos County. This will mark the first time the 10th Court has held session in Brazos County in more than a decade.
“It’s an exciting event because they establish case law for 1/14th of the state,” said Robert Stanberry, Blinn’s legal assistant program coordinator. “These are actual cases that will be argued by appellate attorneys, and this session is truly about the law.”
After arguments are heard, the justices will return to Waco, where they will research the legal issues and precedents, then issue a written opinion.
The 10th Court, which hears approximately 400 criminal and civil appeals per year, recently began scheduling sessions outside of Waco to give the public an opportunity to glimpse the law in action. Last year, the court held a session on the campus of Sam Houston State University.
“It’s very special for a court to go out on the road and hold court on a college campus,” Stanberry said. “How often do you get to see the law in action on your campus?”
The event is hosted by Blinn’s legal assistant program and the Legal Assistant Student Organization.